Community Board 11 approved a variance that would shift parking at the former Scobee Diner site.
The variance, which moves the parking lot to the back of the property, will improve safety, said Matt Carmody, a traffic engineer for new owner Lion Bee Equities. He said otherwise, drivers would have to back on to Northern Boulevard when leaving the popular eatery, thus holding up traffic and leading to accidents.
The variance will also convert some parking spaces in a residential zone to commercial spots. There will be 17 parking spaces in the new lot, including one handicapped space.
Scobee’s shut down two years ago when restaurant owners failed to reach agreement on purchasing the 252-29 Northern Boulevard property from the landowners.
Lion Bee Equities, a Great Neck-based company, has proposed transforming the site into a CitiBank on the first floor and a dentist’s office on the second.
The CitiBank would include a drive-thru ATM with a Little Neck Parkway entrance. Drivers would exit onto Northern Boulevard.
The community board’s Little Neck Land Use Committee originally told the developer to bring back a plan without a drive-thru ATM. But board members said removing the ATM turned out to be a non-starter.
Residents and some board members are worried the plan will turn Little Neck Parkway into a heavily congested area.
Vivien Lenk, who lives two blocks from the site, said the current plan could pose safety risks at the busy intersection with cars coming in and out.
“It’s really an accident, or many accidents, waiting to happen,” she said.
The board voted 24-18 to approve the variance on June 10.